When it comes to Social Media…use a rake.
It’s easy to sign up for a facebook account, it’s easy to sign up and do a few twitter updates a day, it’s also very easy to waste your time.
Successful social media usage requires a lot of thought and planning. I’ve heard it said that in a battle one of the worst things you can do is divide your troops. While social media is a far cry from war, I think the idea is not all that different. You must find a way to utilize the different tools in social media in a viable manner. You should streamline your usage to compliment each other. For example; Let’s say you’re using Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Are you utilizing Twitter and Facebook to serve as a distribution channel for you content? Youtube videos are extremely compatible with Facebook’s newsfeeds. Thumnails of the video are included when you post to a YouTube video, in fact you can even play that YouTube content directly within Facebook. The beautiful thing about web 2.0 ideaology is that websites are dynamic and play well with other websites. Instead of a static page, ever site can now serve as a portal to a world of specific and diverse content.
I have devised a model of social media that revolves around the concept of a rake. Sure…it’s a bit weird, but the more and more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Let’s see if it makes sense to you too. Imagine that the person raking is your company website. You are the one who is using the rake (or social media) as a tool to accomplish a task. The handle of the rake is like a company blog or specific page where social media is a hub, links to all social media avenues. We’ve all seen the little icons for Twitter and Facebook, etc, etc. These are gold. In order to be successful in social media people have to be able to find you, obviously there’s no better place to broadcast your participation in social media than on the front page of your website. Back to the rake, the tongs of the rake are the different avenues of social media. On a standard rake some of the tongs in the center are larger, to me these tongs represent the most powerful social media tools for syndication and distribution of your content. The smaller tongs consist of sites such as Flickr, Vimeo, YouTube, etc. which though are important have less dynamic abilities than twitter or Facebook and are more or less means of parking content such as images or video. Like a rake where all the tongs are connected you should try and reference your homepage as well as your other social media pursuits on these sites. Cross promotion is the secret to social media success. Use Facebook and Twitter to plug your website or blog or to share new posts to YouTube and Flickr. The handle of a rake isn’t very helpful without the actual rake and vice-versa. Unify your social media efforts and rake in potential clients and or readers by using the rake theory I have developed.